If you have enjoyed thrillers like Enough, Sleeping With The Enemy and the Perfect Stranger you may be able to envision what it is like to live with domestic violence. For 120 minutes, you are transported into their lives, but when the movie is over you get to go home to your normal life.
For thousands of people, those popular movie scenes don’t last for hours, for victims and their families this is life, this is their story day in and day out until someone finds the strength, resources and security to walkaway.
Domestic violence is a huge issue. Over 12 million people are directly affected by intimate partner violence every year.
Why Don’t They Just Leave..
One of the biggest challenges when considering whether or not to leave or stay is RESOURCES. Starting over is NEVER easy. For abuse victims walking away often means having to leave almost everything behind, it may also mean walking away from the things and people that you know and love. Fear also plays a big part so leaving is not as easy as you think. Until you are in the hot seat, it’s hard to say what you would or wouldn’t do. It is hard to imagine how much courage and strength walking away really takes.
When you are in an abusive relationship or when you are trying to help someone who is information is key. Resources provide the kind of support people need, it helps them realize they are not alone and that makes leaving easier.
The HopeLine is one of those helpful resources. They partner with Domestic Violence organizations to make communication with needed help and support possible. Giving domestic violence survivors access to cell phones and accessories make communication possible and it also provides a sense of safety and security at a time when they desperately need them.
You Can Help Too….
Issues like this are bigger than one or two organizations locking hands. When we all do something we can help more people and we can make a real dent in this issue. So, here are some ways that you can help in the fight against domestic violence.
- Get informed and share what you know. You could be sitting next to someone being abused and never know it. When you share what you know, you could help them decide to leave.
- Collect old phones and accessories to donate – HopeLine partners with groups and organizations so consider working with them to do your own community collection.
- Connected to a domestic violence organization contact the HopeLine program to find out how to partner with them by email at contact@VerizonHopeLine.com or by phone at 847-706-1733.
- Find an organization Volunteer Connect with organizations who serve abuse survivors and their families. Volunteers are the life line of these organizations, who knows you might bump into your passion.
- Start conversations and bring this issue to the forefront. The more you talk about this issue and help people identify the warning signs the easier it is to help those who may be in dangerous relationship or those with family members and friends who are being abused. Knowledge is power! Have a list of valuable resources available to share with people you run into, it really does make a difference.
Here are a few important numbers you want to have available just in case you need them.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by dialing 1-800-799-SAFE or #HOPE from your Verizon Wireless phone. If you are in an emergency situation, dial 911 or contact the local law enforcement immediately. You can also check out their website here http://www.thehotline.org/
Check out HopeLine, it’s a great place to go and make a difference.
They have collected over 12 million phones since 2001, they have given over 7 million dollars in cash grants and they have collected over 700,000 phones in 2015. They can be reached at email at contact@VerizonHopeLine.com or by phone at 847-706-1733.